BAHAWALPUR: The Punjab government plans to carry out a ‘comprehensive survey’ to identify existing and missing facilities with an aim to promote tourism, livestock and forestry in this region, particularly in the vast desert of Cholistan spread along three districts of Bahawalpur division.

District Forest Officer (DFO) Ijaz Tabbasum of Lal Sohanra National Park told Dawn that a team led by Hassan Ilyas, a senior environmentalist at the P&D’s subsidiary, the Punjab Management Unit, has already begun a week’s visit to Lal Sohanra and Cholistan areas to conduct the survey.

According to him, the mandate of the visiting team was to take stock of the situation and submit recommendations regarding improvement in wildlife habitat, ecosystem for the restoration of the vegetation in the desert.

Zahid Ali Rai, Wildlife deputy director, Bahawalpur division, told Dawn that he had submitted the Cholistan upgrade plan to the government and the team visiting the region might give its input to improve the wildlife. He said his suggestion to the government included the improvement of security system for which he had proposed security force, cameras and increase of manpower.

The P&D team will also study existing facilities for health and education in rural population and suggest improvement.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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